Three things with Paul Bui: ‘It was a much-needed escape from a white, heteronormative town’

In our weekly interview about objects, the creative director to the stars tells us about his old, ‘cringe’ poetry, and the graphic novel he’d save from a burning house

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Paul Bui’s career spans fashion, music and community work. He has served as creative director of London style magazine The Face, edited Australian fashion bible Oyster Mag and recently founded Community Bread, a livestream platform that raises money for marginalised artists. Along the way, he has worked with stars such as Laverne Cox, Grimes, Charlotte Gainsbourg, John Waters and Hailey Bieber – and those are just the names he’s allowed to talk about.

Bui goes on a deep dive into his 20-year career in a short film that will air at Beautiful Freak in the Machine, a free event at the Powerhouse Museum on Thursday 2 June. For Bui, the thread connecting all elements of his work is storytelling – especially amplifying the voices of queer people of colour. That love of storytelling goes back to his childhood in Canberra, where Bui would escape into the countercultural narratives created by an electronic music duo called Drexciya. Decades on, he counts a new graphic novel based on Drexciya’s music as one of his most prized possessions. Here, the creative director, now based in New York, tells us why he’d save that book in a fire, as well as the story of a few other important personal belongings.

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